Kathy McGinnis of Julian Harris Elementary Wins The Valley's Top Teacher

Congrats to the First Grade Teacher!

DECATUR, Ala. - Kathy McGinnis has been teaching school for 37 years. She says teaching is her passion and purpose in life. She has always wanted to be a teacher since she was in first grade.

When you walk inside her first grade classroom, you'll see first graders coloring, learning and playing, anticipating Thanksgiving.

"You can ask them and they'll tell you, 'I'm thankful for love, I'm thankful for God, I'm thankful for family,'" said Mrs. McGinnis. "They know there is much more to be thankful for than just a book or a toy."

Students say they're also thankful for The Valley's Top Teacher; they say she is passionate and compassionate.

"She's nice," said first-grade student, Gavin Johnson. "I like to come to school because of her. She's fun to play with."

"I love Mrs. McGinnis because she teaches me how to learn," said another first-grade student, Andreyah Hamilton.

"I really like Mrs. McGinnis," said first-grade student, Jaren Johnson. "She helps me open stuff when it's too hard for me."

Mrs. McGinnis says she has always wanted to be a teacher; she believes it is her calling.

"I told everyone when I was in first grade that I was going to be a teacher when I grew up," said Mrs. McGinnis.

She says her secret to success is connecting with each student, and motivating them to be better.

"We have a little motto that's be better all the time," said McGinnis. "I want them to take that away is that they can always strive to be better."

The Valley's Top Teacher not only teaches the alphabet and numbers, but she also teaches kindness and gratitude.

"(I teach them to) think about others," said Mrs. McGinnis. "There's always someone worse off than them. They need to be looking for that, and how can they help out in the world."

To nominate a teacher you admire, click here.


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